The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) held its monthly meeting in a live session on Feb. 22 in the North Hall (225 Seventh St. SE) as well as appearing virtually.
Recently-elected Chair Chuck Burger continued to shift the energy of the advisory group, welcoming Robin Hinson Jones as the representative of the Capitol Hill Village. EMCAC recently invited the organization, which provides support and community to area seniors, to join EMCAC as a non-voting member. Jones, a forty-year resident of Capitol Hill, was formerly with the State Department.
Steve Hagedorn was welcomed as well. A former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) for 6B, Hagedorn replaces long time EMCAC member Susan Oursler. Oursler represented the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) and served eight years on EMCAC.
Membership on EMCAC is dictated by DC Code. Burger suggested that the restrictions on EMCAC membership could be “tweaked by legislation.”
Strategic Plan Off the Shelf
The meeting turned as the first order of business to the resurrection of the Strategic Plan. That documented was completed and made public in October, 2020. It was reviewed by EMCAC which made recommendations as the onset of COVID altered the course of so many lives.
Burger had tasked Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen’s appointee Jackie Krieger to report on a preliminary meeting held with EMCAC members Brian Pate and Gerry Stroufe on the viability of these recommendations. EMCAC members will be looking at the plan’s 12 identified goals and 52 action items and reporting back to EMCAC with an approach on whether and how to organize, prioritize and implement recommendations.
Stroufe indicated that one concern was to make sure that the plan “does not go on a shelf somewhere,“ or anyway, not stay there indefinitely. The plan was shelved when the full weight of the pandemic hit the Market as COVID and efforts to survive intersected.
Eastern Market manager and landlord the DC Department of General Services (DGS), took the plan and EMCAC’s recommendations under advisement but too no apparent until the Strategic Plan was recently recalled and resurfaced by Burger, who formed the committee to specifically implement the recommendations.
One Hundred and Fifty Years
This year marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Eastern Market. EMCAC’s Pate along with Councilmember Allen are holding a meeting on Feb. 28th at a the North Hall to gather ideas as to how to celebrate the anniversary. Eastern Market is a Hill treasure as well as a nationally-known public market, built by architect Adolph Cluss. Cluss’s work and architectural style and influence can be found throughout the District of Columbia.
The Market Managers Report
DGS Market Manager Barry Margeson was absent from the meeting so Burger took on the task of the reading the Market Manager’s Report. That ordinarily presents enough financial information to be useful in gauging the success of or predict future issues concerning finances at the Market. February’s report did none of these aside from noting that revenues for last year, through February 2022 were $265,837. The report predicted that now, midway through February 2023 with revenues of about $257,000, the market is on track to surpass last year’s revenues. The Eastern Market budget indicates a pending loss of just under $500,000 for FY23.
Peter J. Waldron is a long time resident and former Chair of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B. He has been reporting on the Eastern Market for fifteen years. Waldron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.